THERE IS NO HELL
UNIVERSALISM & UNIVERSAL SALVATION
I came across a pamphlet titled “What to do to go to Hell”.
The inside was blank. The back cover said, ”Yes that’s right, if you do
nothing and don’t accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will
go to Hell.”
How can some Christians be so un-Christian?
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to use a little common
sense and to think for yourself to realize how ridiculous the concept of
Hell really is. Let’s accept
for a moment the Judeo Christian concept of GOD as a great spirit that
lives up in the sky and is the “Father” of all life on earth.
OK, he’s a parent of all of us. God is believed to be perfect and
humans as imperfect. So, would
we imperfect human (sane) parents punish our children to eternal torment
and torture if they didn’t obey and honor us? Obviously NO.
So, HOW in the world does anyone come up with the idea or believe
the idea that a perfect God parent would do so??
Obviously some ideas and teachings of Jesus have been misinterpreted
or just plain invented by other church leaders to keep their congregations
subservient. One of the basic
beliefs of Universalism for hundreds of years has been universal salvation.
Hell is a concept that we create for ourselves right here on earth.
It is our choice how we live. If we make life hell for others, well,
what goes around comes around. We
can also help to create heaven on earth. There’s a cute T-shirt that says
“Religion is for people afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for
people who have already been there.”
I prefer to be spiritual.
I traveled from church to church before I got here and I learned
much of what I did and didn’t believe. And I’m still learning; the more
I learn, the more I reshape my belief system. I believe that
from a past issue of the “Sanford UU Notes”. Further Recommended
Reading: Free pamphlets on the Literature Rack: “Unitarian Universalist
Origins” and “Our UU Faith - Frequently Asked Questions”; “The
Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide” in the Library Book cabinet; “The
Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn, and
the “Conversations with God” series of books by Neale Donald Walsh.
MORE REASONS WHY I BECAME A UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST
A Personal View of Religious Freedom of Thought
one person can make a statement of what all Unitarian Universalists (UU)
believe, and that confused me for a while. I was never a regular church
goer. I started my REAL spiritual education at the Sanford Maine UU
Church Book & Philosophy Discussion Group. Talking and learning
about different philosophies and ways of thinking, and the openness of
deciding for yourself what feels right in your heart, made me decide that
this was the place for this independent thinker. We all have our own
personal philosophy of what feels right to us on the inside and prefer
taking the responsibility to think for ourselves. I like the UU wallet
cards defining the basic guidelines of what we believe. Maybe some of you
will identify with my search and need for freedom of spiritual thought.
Unitarian Universalists believe in God with many names and messengers according to the cultures of various parts of the world. There is no right one or wrong one if you are reading the message of God correctly. Someone asked God why he doesn't send messengers anymore. He replied "Every time I do, you people start a new religion and persecute all my other people, or tell them that they have to believe the same way that you think I'm telling you to believe. You are all one people with one god who has many names."
are some of my thoughts:
do what they are told to do, or what they have been trained by man or
nature to do.
(and we all have different names for that “Higher Power”) gave humans a
special gift, which we are expected to use - the ability to question and
reason and think for ourselves. I believe that God cries when people try to
squash that gift and speak in “his” name saying “We have the one
truth; you don’t need to think about it or question it, just memorize
it.” All the world’s religions have their own version of a book with
the word of God. Unitarian Universalists respect the teachings of all the
world’s religions and philosophies and believe we can learn from all of
them. I hunger to use God’s special gift to the fullest to learn about
all philosophies so that we can put the pieces together to solve the puzzle
of the meaning of life, not just to learn “the party line”. Striving to
learn that puzzle may very well be the reason we are here.
studied with the Jehovah Witnesses and the Assemblies of God when beginning
my spiritual search in the early 1990s. Since I didn’t know what I
believed, I figured the first logical step was to determine what it was
that I did NOT believe in. Nice
people, but I felt something missing. I want to know everything, both sides
of the story. I found the Sanford UU Church in 1996 by checking the yellow
pages to see what churches I hadn’t tried yet. I have enjoyed learning
about the suppressed teachings of Jesus and what is behind some of the old
Bible stories, especially what scholars say about some of the Bible being
Hebrew adoption of more ancient stories (and supposedly the Bible covers
back to the first day of humanity as Hebrew times). I can pinpoint one
Fundamentalist statement that sent me back on my search for the truth. I
was at an Assemblies of God Bible study at the assistant pastor’s house
and someone mentioned a woman’s husband dying in a car crash. The
response of one “Christian” woman: “Oh my God, he wasn’t saved;
he’s going to go to Hell.” How
un-Christian can a “Christian” get? I think that would make Jesus cry.
Mentioning it to a Baptist minister later, his only response was “Well,
was he saved?”
believe that Jesus was much more loving and non-judgmental than some would
believe. I believe that Jesus’
teaching was to love those who are
different from you as yourself, with no strings attached. Jesus
certainly did not teach that some people are inherently better than others,
and certainly no philosophy that I would call “divinely” inspired would
promote it either. Yet the Bible and religion are used to promote just that
purpose, which is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Some people
use the Bible to promote bigotry by showing they are God’s Chosen Ones
and you’re not, but you can be if you change and think like them.
Unfortunately they don’t recognize their bigotry. That’s what bothers
me about other groups I studied religion with. We don’t even believe
everyone should be a UU! If you are being fed spiritually and are at peace
in Buddhism, Catholicism, or whatever, then you have found the right place for
YOU. Just don’t think your way has to be The One Divine Way and
everybody else has to change. Some people say we are not Christian; I say
it’s a matter of semantics. I have found UUs to be more “Christian”
in practice than many who loudly profess to be “saved Christians” (I
think they’re in for a big surprise).
standard translation of the Bible starts right out at the beginning blaming
Woman for the downfall of humanity and our expulsion from paradise, and
women are treated as second class citizens from then on. If we are starting
out with the belief that an entire half of humanity is inherently inferior,
everything else that is wrong just falls into place naturally, such as
these statements of bigotry:
are better than women. “God the Father” created Man in “His” image
and then as an afterthought created woman from spare parts left over from
Adam so that man would have someone to work for him. Religion A is better
than Religion B. And everyone knows that Irish Catholics are better than
Irish Protestants. God is White - just look at the pictures in books; so
white people are superior. Everyone must be heterosexual - the Bible says
so. (Then why does God make 10%+ of his creations gay? Diversity is what
makes life interesting). If foreigners can’t speak English, they must be
stupid. Rich people are better than poor people. I am better than you.
is prejudice. Everyone is different and that is the way it is supposed to
be. Believing any one of the above prejudices hurts both other people and
your inner self. Most prejudiced people don’t even recognize their own
beliefs as prejudice. I believe
there is no
Buddhists, Taoists, Humanists, Pagans, liberal religious dilettantes against dogma, social activists, cultural creatives all find home at Unitarian Universalist churches. Check your yellow pages for one near you, or click here for a UU church near you.
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